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[24 JUN 99] CITY CENTRE COMPANY COVENTRY NEWS
City Centre Shops Ban Shoplifters

Convicted thieves will have to shop outside Coventry, because they will not be allowed inside most city centre stores in a dramatic new move to cut crime.

Members of The City Centre Company’s ‘Retail Crime Initiative’ have joined forces with the police to try to keep down the increasing number of shoplifting offences.

Anyone convicted of shoplifting will be automatically banned from most city centre shops for a period of six months in addition to the punishment handed out by the magistrates.

The City Centre Company is convinced it is beginning to have a big effect through its intricate closed circuit television surveillance of the city centre.

The company controls 120 cameras in addition to many more inside shops. Arrests are being made on a regular basis as members of the Crime Initiative alert The City Centre Company’s control staff who pass on the alert to other traders and then track suspects across town on camera.

Camera operatives recently witnessed a robbery and two youths were arrested. On other occasions shoplifters were detained and youths seen damaging a bus shelter in Trinity Street ended in the arms of the law.

"Our members are delighted at the effectiveness of the initiative and it will get better as we increase membership," says Roger Bache of The City Centre Company.

As part of the Retail Crime Initiative, members also get help from The City Centre Company to take civil action to recover the cost of crimes from offenders.

The ban on shoplifters is another string to the bow. The guilty will automatically be served with a six months exclusion order banning them from sixty city centre stores.

Police Inspector Barrie Thompson, who is in charge of city centre policing said:

"The first exclusion orders are expected to be handed out by the end of July. For the first time we are working in partnership with shopkeepers to stamp out a problem which, for adult shoplifters alone, costs 38,800 a year in police man hours."

  

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CWN / News / Newswire / City Centre Company Coventry / 24 Jun 99

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